Our walk up to Montmartre on Friday was beautiful. By looking for back streets to walk, David found Rue Montorgueil, a delightful, pedestrian street full of markets of all kinds — fruit, vegetables, pastries, and wine — and many cafes. When we got to the top of the hill, the view of the white dome of Sacre Couer, against the only brilliantly blue sky we’ve seen while here, was stunning. We sat on a bench and I pulled out my notebook to write. I noticed the young woman beside me was also writing.
We walked the narrow, cobbled lanes that wind around the hilltop, only briefly passing through the throngs of tourists at the Place du Tertre, which Lonely Planet calls “the pinnacle of touristy Paris,” then headed down the hill, on many “streets” that were stairs, to Le Progres cafe, which I’d found in two guidebooks that claim this is a cafe where Parisians, not tourists eat (a bit hard to believe entirely, since we ourselves are tourists and found it in a guidebook). It was a lovely cafe, with huge windows looking out on the city, and some of the best food we’ve had (David had an endive and roquefort cheese salad, topped with a heap of arugula, followed by salmon with white wine foam and a top grilled to a caramel perfection, piled on vegetables, while I had the vegetable soup followed by an appetizer plate of arugula and tapenade, on a plate drizzled with pesto). As with every meal, there was plenty of fresh baguette to sponge up all the sauces and flavors. As we were about halfway into our meal at Le Progres cafe, the same young woman from the bench at the top of Montmartre came in and sat by the window. She took our her small notebook and started to write.
We then headed to a small museum with the wonderful name Musee de la vie Romantique — the Museum of the Romantic Life. Down a cobbled lane is a lovely, small house devoted to the life and work of Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin Baronne, better known as George Sand. Full of paintings and furniture, and featuring a sweet garden with flowers still in bloom, it was a wonderful, and free, treat.
Walking back to the Marais and our apartment, crossing yet more boulevards and squares and streets, all lined with gorgeous old buildings of stone, David looked up at one point and said, “There’s so much Paris everywhere!”